Welcome to Weird Word Wednesday!
Tell me something…have you ever been in a conversation with a friend who repeatedly changed their opinion? One minute she was giddy with joy that plaid bell bottoms were staging a comeback; the next she waxed lyrical about the slimming qualities of Bad Mom Jeans.
Gadzooks! It’s enough to make your head spin!
When you’re left feeling conversationally bamboozled, it’s likely you were in the presence of a tergiversator.
Tergiversate means “to change repeatedly one’s attitudes or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.” It’s pronounced ter-ji-ver-sate.
The horror you’re feeling isn’t caused by the impending return of plaid bell bottoms; it’s because mentally, you can’t keep up.
Just when Wilbur thought he had Edna figured out, her tergiversation kicked in. She took off work to man the stand at the “National Trail Mix Day” festivities. Mere hours before the parade started, she declared to a puzzled Wilbur that the whole thing was a waste of her time.
Tergiversation can strike at any time, with any subject. From fluffy ones all the way to politics and global warming, everyone’s got their opinion.
But what to do with a tergiversator? Walk away? Nod and smile as you mentally check out? Wear Bad Mom Jeans as defensive armor? I tend to glaze over and make insignificant “mmmm” noises until I can break free. Ideas, anyone?